Luscious Lemon Curd. Is there anything better?
I mean, besides caramel and hot fudge and cake and brownies and….well, let’s just stay in the land of lemons for today. I love lemon squares and lemon cakes and lemon cookies and lemonade, but whenever I have some homemade lemon curd sitting before me, I always feel like it crushes all the other lemon treats out there. It’s like the all powerful ruler of Lemon Land (cue the singing angels.)
It’s got everything good about sweet lemon treats all wrapped up in it’s lemony creaminess. It’s tart, it’s sweet, it’s creamy, it’s supremely lemony. It’s like a lemon square, without the crust. But, it doesn’t need a crust. It will not be confined to any one specific dessert. So, use it to fill or top a cake or cupcakes. Use it to spread on a scone or a biscuit. Use it to slather on short bread or ginger bread or mix it up with some whipped cream and top some pancakes with it. (Full disclosure, I have posted this recipe before as part of a topping for gingerbread pancakes and a white zucchini cake, but you may have never found it there, so I decided it deserved it’s own post.)
Years ago, when I first made it at home, I was astonished at how easy it was. Actually, it took me a few tries to find a recipe that I liked, but once I found it, shazam! My lemon lovin’ world exploded and whenever I had some extra egg yolks hanging around from another recipe, well, I knew for sure I would be making lemon curd with them.
Five ingredients and one pan is all it takes to make this Luscious Lemon Curd. You’ll need some fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar and egg yolks. (Even if you don’t have extra egg yolks sitting around from another recipe, it’s easy to use up egg whites at breakfast.) Stir and cook for about 5-7 minutes until it’s thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Then, remove from the heat and throw in some butter (the fifth ingredient) and stir until the butter melts and the mixture is smooth. You’re done. It just needs to cool.
You’ll sit back and marvel how easy that was. You’ll wonder how long it will take for the lemon curd to completely cool. You’ll decide it’s too long to wait for that and stick a spoon in, just for a taste, just to make sure….yep, it’s delicious. You’ll start to think about all the ways you could use such lemony lusciousness. Wait, one more spoonful…Then you’ll have to decide for yourself, with that Luscious Lemon Curd sitting before you, if you’ll crown it King of All Things Lemon.
I think you will.
Luscious Lemon Curd
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 6 Tablespoons sugar
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter cold, cut into pieces
- For the curd, combine yolks, zest, juice and sugar in a small saucepan.
- Whisk to combine. Set over medium heat and stir constantly, making sure to scrape sides and bottom of pan.
- Cook until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5-7 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Add butter, one piece at a time, stirring until consistency is smooth.
- Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl. (Or, strain before storing, see note)
- Lay a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin forming. Allow to cool then refrigerate. You can speed up this process by placing the bowl with the lemon curd in it into a larger bowl filled with ice. This recipe makes about 3/4 of a cup of lemon curd.
*If you want a very smooth curd, you can strain it before you store it. Just pour directly from the pan through a mesh strainer, stirring the curd while it's in the strainer to coax it through. This is a completely optional step. Sometimes I strain, sometimes I don't. Love it either way.
Lemon Curd Recipe from Martha Stewart